'I'm bringing my pom-poms' - All White rules himself out of World Cup qualifer

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NZN

All Whites defender Michael Boxall has all but ruled himself out of tomorrow's World Cup qualifier return leg against the Solomon Islands, having been booked in Fridays' 6-1 first-leg win.

All Whites Michael Boxall

All Whites defender Michael Boxall

Source: Photosport

The Minnesota United-based stopper picked up an early yellow card in Friday's win in Albany for a poor challenge, leaving him one booking away from a suspension.

Should he pick up another yellow in Honiara, he would miss the side's first intercontinental playoff against South America's fifth-placed side.

He indicated he wasn't willing to take that risk with the tie essentially settled and reliable cover waiting in the wings.

While Themi Tzimopoulos and Sam Brotherton formed a three-man backline with Boxall on Friday, the likes of Andrew Durante and Kip Colvey are also available.

"I'm bringing my pom-poms," Boxall told reporters.

"If need be, I'm ready to play, but obviously we've got enough quality - Themi, Andrew Durante, he's got experience.

"We've definitely got enough."

If he does remain on the pine, Boxall will be one of many All Whites to skip the Honiara match, with stars Chris Wood and Ryan Thomas already ruled out.

Midfield conductor Mike McGlinchey, having picked up a daft yellow card of his own on Friday, is also likely to sit out the second leg.

Incumbent skipper Winston Reid, Marco Rojas, Tommy Smith and Shane Smeltz remain out with injuries, while trio Clayton Lewis, Bill Tuiloma and Dane Ingham have been left out of the squad for fitness issues.

The 29-year-old Boxall said the All Whites still had the cattle to triumph.

"Anyone stepping up, obviously we've got five or six lads overseas who are missing, and everyone on Tuesday's got an opportunity," Boxall said.

"Because we represent the confederation, we need to be dominating these games, whether home or away, no matter the standing of the tie."

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